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Fat Tuesday (the day before Lent, Ash Wednesday) is upon us again!  This year the celebration of Mardi Gras, also known as Shrove Tuesday, falls on Tuesday, March 8th. Although New Orleans does hold a unique place in the history of American Mardi Gras celebrations, it was actually first celebrated (and still is) in Mobile, Alabama in the year 1703.  This goes to show you that the inhabitants of the Gulf Coast are survivors!

Today, the Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans is a truly unique experience due to the vast array of cultural influences. The French Quarter (Vieux Carre) alone represents layer upon layer of history and an unbelievable assortment of cultural expressions.  Two of the highest expressions of culture are her music (considered one of the birth places of American Jazz) along with Creole and Cajun cuisine.  

Creole cooking is most identified with the French who immigrated to New Orleans and intertwined their cooking techniques with other cultural influences, local game, seafood and produce.   The word Cajun, a corruption of the word Acadian, refers to the descendants of French refuges relocated from Nova Scotia to the bayous of Louisiana in 1795. In many ways these two cooking styles overlap but are still distinctly different.

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